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ArlingtonW-L boys win district hoop championship

W-L boys win district hoop championship

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Sometimes the hardest way to win a championship is being the favorite, as the Washington-Liberty Generals were in the Liberty District boys basketball tournament, with opponents motivated to knock off the top seed.

Knowing that, the Generals were ready for the challenge. They played well and hungry, eliminating any chance for upsets with strong starts in winning their two games.

Washington-Liberty (16-6) topped the second-seeded Marshall Statesmen, 55-46, in the Feb. 18  high-school title game before a large crowd on the Generals’ home court. In the semifinals, the Generals routed the fourth-seeded Langley Saxons at W-L, 73-45, two nights earlier after receiving a first-round bye.

The tourney title was W-L’s first since winning the National District crown in 2001.


“I think we played as well as we ever have in the game against Langley,” said Washington-Liberty coach Bobby Dobson, who also coached that 2001 championship teaml. “Marshall was going to be a different animal-type of game. The guys had to figure it out and they dug in and played great defense. These kids believe, they stick together and fight with each other, they play hard, are locked in, and they make plays.”

The lead seesawed during the first quarter of the championship game, with Marshall leading 12-11 by period’s end. Washington-Liberty took the lead for good at 14-11 just seconds into the second quarter on a long three-pointer by James McIntyre, who scored 12 points and had two assists.

The Generals were ahead 27-19 at halftime and 39-34 entering the final period. Marshall pulled within 43-42 with 3:45 to play, but got no closer as McIntyre scored six of his 12 points in the fourth.

Generals’ center Elijah Hughes led the Generals in scoring with 23 points, including 14 in the first half. He also had five rebounds.

“Elijah gives the guys confidence,” Dobson said. “Sometimes they just throw it inside to him and he scores.”

Faris Webber and Jack Kimbrell each scored six in the win. Brian Weiser had five to go with five steals, seven assists, four rebounds and two blocks. Jakhi Beale had three points and four assists and played strong defense in the two games. Cedric Scheu had three assists.

“Faris had a big rebound down the stretch, James hit a big shot and Brian made a great pass to Jack for a basket,” Dobson said.

Webber had nine rebounds,

Hughes had 17 points, six rebounds and four assists against Langley. McIntyre scored 15, making three three-pointers and having three steals. Webber also scored 15 and had five rebounds.

Beale had seven points and six assists; Kimbrell had four points and five rebounds; and Weiser had a busy game with seven points, six steals, five assists, three deflections and a block.

“I really thought we could have a pretty good season at the start, because we shoot well, we move and pass the ball well, the players trust each other and me, and we really play good defense, and give other teams trouble,” Dobson said.

NOTES: In that 2001 National District tournament, the Generals defeated Mount Vernon, 66-52, in the championship game for the team’s 19th win in a row . . . This season, Washington-Liberty has a 12-1 record since the high-school sports season in Arlington was “paused” two weeks to start the new year because of COVID concerns . . . McIntyre and Weiser were chosen first-team all-6D North Region, Hughes made second team and Dobson was chosen region Coach of the Year, as well as previously picked district Coach of the Year.

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